State Audit Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia partner to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment
State Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation and promote sustainable development through parallel auditing of Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5) on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The agreement was signed on 24 February 2023 in Belgrade, Serbia, by representatives from all participating SAIs.
The agreement is a significant step towards the achievement of SDG 5 in the Western Balkans, which demands further transparency and accountability on gender equality. By working together, SAIs can play a crucial role in ensuring that government commitments toward gender equality are met. The MoU establishes a framework for cooperation between participating SAIs in the area of parallel audit on SDG5. The signatories committed to sharing information and best practices, learning from each other, and collaborating on research and training initiatives.
During the signing ceremony, the General Auditor of the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Hrvoje Tvrtkovic, stated: "We are happy to join this project, which is the contribution of the highest institutions for auditing in the realization of the goals of gender equality. I am deeply convinced that the results of this work will certainly contribute to the improvement of gender equality in our countries.”
Mr. Dzevad Nekic, Auditor General of the Audit Office of the Institutions in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, emphasized the importance of budget planning in gender equality: "The strengthening and achievement of gender equality needs to be addressed first through budget planning and execution within the framework of institutions that must provide funds for gender-responsive programs and projects.”
During the signing ceremony Mr. Jovo Radukic, Auditor General of the Republika Srpska said, "I believe that the governments of our countries will recognize and find in our reports some elements that will contribute to or give new value in the field of gender equality and make women and girls more visible and recognizable in our society.”
Under the leadership of Serbia's SAI, it is expected that SAIs will walk together to develop a joint methodology, invest in capacity building and produce parallel audit reports. "Gender equality policies should become an integral part of all state bodies and institutions at all levels, and thus be established as a necessary principle in the process of public policies planning and their budgeting," stated Dr. Dusko Pejovic, President of the State Audit Institution of the Republic of Serbia.
“SAIs in the Western Balkans are committed to demand accountability and transparency on the implementation of SDG 5. The signing of the MoU represents a critical milestone towards achieving this goal with the technical support of UN Women,” said Ermira Lubani, GRB Programme Specialist of UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia.
The agreement was signed within the framework of the regional project “Transformative Financing for Gender Equality Towards More Transparent, Inclusive and Accountable Governance in the Western Balkans” financed by Sweden.